About David Benjamin

Benjamin’s Biography

Benjamin’s commentaries have been published in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Capital Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Examiner, the Orange County Register, the Baltimore Sun, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Wisconsin State Journal, the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers as well as frequently on the Common Dreams website. He continues to write essays, on a weekly basis, posted both here and on a blogsite, “Benjamin’s Mess” (benjaminsmess@blogspot.com).

On stage, Benjamin has performed under the direction of Franco Zeffirelli in the La Scala Opera of Milan and under Mikhail Baryshnikov with the American Ballet Theater, as well as with the Ballet D’Opera de Paris.

Now living in Madison, Wisconsin, Benjamin has also made his home, over the years, in Boston, Brussels, Tokyo, San Carlos, Calif., Paris, Long Island and Brooklyn. He’s a graduate of Beloit College, an alumnus of Rockford College, and a loyal fan of the Red Sox, the Celtics and the Green Bay Packers. He and his wife, Junko Yoshida, have been married for 25 years.

About the Author

David Benjamin Portrait
David Benjamin, author of Three’s a Crowd, started his first novel at the age of nine, reading chapters aloud to his fourth-grade-classmates at St. Mary’s School in Tomah, Wisconsin. Part of that grade-school experience was recounted and embellished in his “memoir,” The Life and Times of the Last Kid Picked, published by Random House in 2002.

Benjamin is also the author of SUMO: A Thinking Fan’s Guide to Japan’s National Sport. Published by Charles E. Tuttle in 2010, SUMO is a revision of The Joy of Sumo: A Fan’s Notes. In print for 22 years, Benjamin’s irreverent analysis of Japanese wrestling, in its two editions, is the bestselling book ever published on sumo — and one of the funnier books written about any sport.

Benjamin’s experience also includes an intimate familiarity with Paris and Las Vegas, the two locales in Three’s a Crowd. Benjamin and his wife, electronics industry journalist Junko Yoshida, have journeyed to Las Vegas annually to cover the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) since 1999. They’ve owned a sixth-floor walk-up loft in Paris for 18 years.

Writing about The Life and Times of the Last Kid Picked, Hartford Courant book editor Carole Goldberg said: “… The book is loaded with hilarious vignettes, and Benjamin deftly evokes both the bewilderment and savvy of kids trying to get a handle on life… The book is pungent with vivid writing, perhaps nowhere more so than the account of what happens when he discovers that a washtub full of dying tadpoles on his back porch is turning into a foul kettle of fish… The Last Kid is full of wonderfully written set pieces… Other passages are full of blue-collar lyricism…”

Besides his work as a novelist, Benjamin has worked in journalism, off and on, for most of his life, once declaring, “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.” He served seven years as editor of the Mansfield (Mass.) News, where he won nine awards from the New England Press Association. He was also editor of Tokyo Journal, Tokyo’s English-language city magazine, spent several years as a columnist and contributing editor at the Japan Times, and four years as a columnist for the Mainichi Daily News.

Benjamin was also Principal Writer for the Cambridge (Mass.) technology and management consulting firm, Arthur. D. Little, where his efforts as ghostwriter for a book about inventions called Breakthroughs, earned him the company’s annual Presidential Award.

“…Portions were taken to them from Joseph’s table, but Benjamin’s mess was five times as much as any of theirs.
So they drank and were merry with him.” Genesis 43.34